The Malaysian Reserve

Crypto firm Stellar gets IF certification


California-Based Stellar has received certification from Islamic scholars for its blockchain platform and related cryptocurrency, aiming to integrate the technology into the field of Shariah-compliant financial products, reports Reuters.

The certification covers Stellar’s blockchain and its native currency called Lumens — the seven-largest cryptocurrency with a market capitalisation of US$4.3 billion (RM19.78), the report added.

Stellar is a common financial platform that is designed to be open and accessible to everyone.

The mission of the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) is to promote global financial access, literacy and inclusion. The SDF accomplishes this by expanding world- wide access to low-cost financial services through the development and maintenance of technology and partnerships, according to information at its website.

The move highlights how financial technologies are broadening their footprint to include growth markets in the Middle East and South-East Asia, prompting Islamic scholars to assess the religious validity of digital currencies, the report added.

The SDF employs full-time and part-time employees, as well as con- tractors, to develop and execute programmes that promote global financial access, literacy and inclusion. Aside from personnel costs, other operational expenses include the costs of office rental, office amenities, hardware, software and partnership, and educational programmes.

Over the past year, Stellar partnership director Lisa Nestor was quoted as saying that it has been exploring partnerships with financial firms in the Gulf region and seeking Islamic finance (IF) certification to help widen those discussions.

“We have been looking to work with companies that facilitate remittances, including in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. It’s a huge market,” Nestor told the news agency. — TMR